Boozing in the morning, blazing family rows in the afternoon, and passing out in front of the telly – trousers unbuttoned – by 5pm. All of these are annual traditions of Christmas but when it comes to dinner, what makes the perfect festive nosh?
Everyone has their own take on Yuletide overindulgence, and inevitably something in the meal arrives burnt, undercooked, or cold (or maybe a combination of all three). However, opinions vary widely on what ingredients make a true Christmas feast.
There are, of course, some key items that no self-respecting household would be without. For example, a huge box of cheap chocolates, preferably Quality Streets, but Roses will do – so your gullet can get its full workout between courses.
But even before getting into meat of the issue, it gets contentious. Do you go for starters? The Register's UK ed Paul Kunert is partial to 1970s dinner-party classic prawn cocktail before tucking in properly. Or is it better to plonk it all down, complete with Yorkshire puds, pigs in blankets, spuds, and summon everyone to the Christmas trough?
Then there's the main event. Perhaps you're a traditionalist and nothing but turkey will do – however dry and disappointing it turns out every single year. Or maybe you go in for bird-within-a-bird Turducken action, like some kind of mad culinary Frankenstein. No sane person would surely leave out the gravy, but what about cranberry sauce? Bread sauce?
And then there are those who eschew the fowl meal altogether and go for something more exotic such as a Beef Wellington, roast pork belly, or even, god forbid, a salmon steak or nut roast. At this point we are venturing into whole new dimensions. It's Christmas, Jim, but not as we know it.
Of course, sprouts have a place on every plate, despite the near-universal revulsion they provoke – even when fried with bacon and chestnuts. How about spuds? Roasted surely? Root veg tossed in honey?
Top it all off with a heavily brandy-soaked Christmas pud, followed by a large slab of marzipan-coated cake and, if there's any room left, cram in a mince pie.
We can all at least agree on mince pies, right? [No, we cannot – Ed] Tell us what makes your perfect Yuletide feast below! ®